Vegan collagen supplements are the current trend in the cosmetics industry – But what is collagen? And how does vegan collagen differ from conventional collagen and what do amino acids and proteins have to do with it? In this article, I would like to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about collagen.
What is Collagen?
Collagen or collagen is a protein building block of our body that consists of amino acids. (Amino acids are organic compounds in the human body. They are the basic building blocks of our proteins and are essential to the human body. Some we can make ourselves and some we must supplement.) In total, our proteins are made up of 20 different amino acids.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is important for our skin elasticity, hair, nails, joints, muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, tissue growth to promote wound healing and more. One important property of collagen is to keep our tissues elastic and firm. (Which is reflected in numerous beauty products).
From about the age of 25, our body’s collagen balance steadily decreases. Accordingly, our body produces less collagen. That is why it makes sense to supplement collagen not only in old age, but also at a young age. The effects of a collagen deficiency can be wrinkles, thin and sagging skin, thinning hair, joint damage or brittle nails.
Collagen plays an important role in slow aging. Slow aging means taking care of yourself and your health, being mindful of your own needs and thus counteracting the aging process. Of course, we cannot stop it, but with the right products (food, supplements, cosmetics) we can at least slow down this process.
Coenzyme Q10 also helps to slow down the aging process and also supports our cellular health.
How to use vegan collagen?
Collagen is found in numerous beauty products or supplements. Since collagen supplements are usually made from animal products like bone broth using pigs, beef, eggs, dairy, and fish, conventional beauty products usually contain animal collagen. This is because naturally occurring, vegan collagen does not exist. However, as more people cut back on or eliminate animal products, cruelty-free and vegan collagen boosters has become popular.
Anyway, with a balanced and vegan diet, we can support our own collagen production without any animal-based collagens.
To be able to form the protein building block, we need, among other things, sufficient amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin C, E, copper and zinc. Of course, we can get all of these nutrients from our foods. The issue here is which foods have the best amino acid profile. The better this profile is, the more bioavailable the nutrients become to us. Legumes have the best amino acid profile and should be included in our diet for more than just that reason.
In order to boost collagen, we primarily need the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. If these three amino acids are present in sufficient quantities, nothing stands in the way of the body’s own collagen formation.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Lima beans, Black beans and Kidney beans, etc.
- Rolled Oats
- Spelt, rye and whole wheat flours.
Vitamin C sources that support hydroxyproline formation.
- Bell peppers
- Sea buckthorn
- Brussels sprouts
- Citrus fruits
If you eat these foods in combination and with high bioavailability, you can make your own collagen. These amino acids will help you stimulate production and provide you with enough collagen. This keeps your skin nice and tight, your tissues firm, and your hair thick.
What stimulates the production of collagen?
If you want to produce your own vegan collagen and don’t want to rely on animal products, you should adjust your diet accordingly. The vital amino acid lysine contributes to collagen formation. This can be found in legumes, peanuts or vegetable oils. In general, protein-rich foods are always beneficial in a vegan diet because they automatically cover the nutrients of the amino acids. So if you consume high-quality protein sources, such as oatmeal, soybeans, chia, nuts and legumes, it will support your body multiple times and holistically.
Vegan collagen supplements
Collagen is a protein that can only be produced by humans and animals. Thus, supplements or creams are usually not vegan if they contain collagen.
Since we know that we can make collagen ourselves, we simply need to provide our bodies with appropriate amounts and the right amino acids to produce it.
There are different vegan collagen powders and plant-based collagen supplements available (some may also include plant extracts to help support our skin and joints). However, I recommend trying Innonature’s Vegan Collagen Support. It provide the key ingredients (essential amino acids, vitamin c and minerals) your body needs to not only make collagen, but to produce it at a faster rate. The capsules contain 18 amino acids from fermented corn as well as vitamin C from rosehip, which makes them especially bioavailable.
Tips for your vegan collagen balance
In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, I recommend you adopt a holistic healthy vegan lifestyle. This includes not only a vegan diet, but also sufficient sun protection, abstaining from alcohol, smoking or drugs and other environmental toxins that harm you.
Stick to fresh, local (organic) produce, cook for yourself instead of buying convenience products, and drink enough water.
When we talk about vegan collagen, we basically mean active ingredients from plant-based foods that stimulate body’s natural production of collagen. For this to happen, we need to consume foods that contain glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Only when these three essential amino acids find their way into our organism can we produce enough collagen.
These recipes support the production of your vegan collagen
- Millet Porridge with Cinnamon and Apples
- Blueberry Smoothie
- Quinoa Vegetable Stir-Fry with Chickpeas
- Spinach Wraps with Cashew Cheese
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry
- Broccoli Burger
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